So today is the last day of my 30’s. I find that very interesting. Going into tomorrow, I will begin the next decade of my life, having closed the door on the previous four. 40…humpf. I do not see what all the fuss is about. I am not one of those women who lie about their age or who are depressed that their life has slipped away from them. What is the use? I wear my age with pride. It took a lot for me to get this far and to deny any part of it would be to deny a part of me. So, I say again, in capital letters… I AM FORTY! Ha! I feel better already.
At 40, I will be able to say that I have two beautiful children who are both in college. As a single mother, when my kids were young, I worried every day about how to guide them in a world that seemed to get crazy at times. I read to them. I played with them. I let them develop their own personalities without trying to influence them to be something that “I” wanted them to be. Allowing them that freedom, I now have a handsome son, turning 21, who will be a math teacher. I also have a beautiful daughter, just turned 18, who is a gifted photographer. How fortunate am I? Were there struggles along the way? Of course! But, to quote Alicia Keys, “A life perfect, ain’t perfect, if you don’t know what the struggle is for.”
My Parents are still alive and kicking. I cannot picture being where I am now without having them to cheer me on along the way. They are both in fragile health, so I count my blessings daily. My Mom and I have not always seen eye to eye but because of her influence in my life, I have pushed myself to where I am today. And I am comfortable in my skin.
I have had the honor of being able to call a number of people “friend”. Because of these people who have lined the path of my life I have been able to experience the joy of laughter, loving, support, caring and companionship. I do not have a vast number of friends. But the ones I do have, all hold very dear places in my heart. I am thankful for them and fortunate that they have made their way into my life.
So I guess that I will give you the Top Ten Things I Have Learned In Thirty Nine Years:
1. No matter how right you think you are, you probably aren’t.
2. Getting the grilled cheese out of the VCR that your three year old stuffed in is going to be harder than you expected.
3. If no one is laughing with you, the joke was not funny. HOWEVER, go ahead and keep laughing as long as YOU think it is funny.
4. Do it. Otherwise you will wish you had.
5. Hug your kids. Even when they are taller and smarter than you. They are never too old to hear how much you love them.
6. Never doubt yourself. As a wise young bird once said, you are your own benefactor, treat yourself right.
7. Have faith. Sometimes it is the only thing you can afford.
8. Money isn’t everything and some things have no price tags.
9. Write it down. One day your memory will not be as good as it used to be, but the story will be.
10. Live. Live fully. Live in technocolor.
It seems all of us are turning 40. I really don’t feel any different. A good friend keeps reminding me that life begins at 40. She may be right. Odd to think back to when we were pups in high school that we would ever be where we are and doing what we are doing. As I get further along in life I realize that youth is not the only thing wasted on the young, and that every being should be afforded a cosmic “do-over”. Yet I suppose that I would probably end up about where I am.
Take care and see you at Thanksgiving.